The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising?? - Page 33 - SailNet Community

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  #321  
Old 01-05-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

Shanedennis,

I don't think this has anything to do with Obama's politics, or nostalgia. There's an old saying "stop and take time to smell the roses" that seems appropriate for the current generation of those under age 45. Many of them never see the roses let alone smell them because their daily lives revolve around their I-Phones.

As for the older generation having the majority of the money, yep it's true. They worked all their lives for what they have and sacrificed a lot so their children could get the best eduction and live in the best neighborhood they could afford.

Yeah, I'm one of those rich sailboat owners. I'm sailing around on a 1973 Morgan O.I. that I've been working on for over three years. I'm living on a small Social Security income, still work nearly every day of the week, and at age 72 there's little chance that I'll ever retire because increasing taxes continue to suck down what little income I make as a musician/entertainer/singer.

I worked hard for many, many, many years, scrimped and saved until I could put enough money away to pay cash for this old boat, thus reinforcing my statement about the "Me now" generation that want's instant gratification.

Most of the folks here in Boot Key Harbor are not rich, many still work full time jobs because they have to, and a significant number of them sold everything they owned, homes, cars, etc... in order to live this dream of sailing over distant horizons during the final years of their lives. I've got to know many of these individuals quite well and the vast majority of them didn't get into sailing until they neared age 50 or older. For most, it took that long to save enough money to buy the boat that would fit their cruising dreams.

So, stop, look around you, turn off that smart phone, and take time to smell the roses. Nostalgia and the dark ages can be quite beautiful - just ask those that have lived through them.

Gary
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  #322  
Old 01-05-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

>Perhaps it is just a side effect of having a new toy. And, maybe we can hope that the children will eventually get tired of their toy(s)....<

No, it's more seductive than just having a new toy. The newer electronic devices allow people to enter, or even create, mind-spaces that may be customized to their very own fantasies.

If someone has problems or worries (and who doesn't?), those multimedia devices allow a user to forget, at least so long as their mind is in that space. It allows them to ignore unpleasing reality, which can be harsh indeed. Not precisely a new thing; recall D&D?
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  #323  
Old 01-05-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
...So, stop, look around you, turn off that smart phone, and take time to smell the roses...
I'll turn my smart phone off when you turn off your computer. Smart phones and iPads have only been around a few years. The decline in recreational sailing started in the late 80s before even before PCs were mainstream.

I'm just sticking up for my generation. I think they are not buying cruising sailboats because they are doing it tougher than the boomers. All the economic and social data backs me up on this. My kid's generation has it even tougher.

Speaking for myself, I was a poor boy and got my first full time job at 15. I worked hard. I saved hard. I own a bluewater cruiser and I use it. Before I bought the bluewater cruiser I travelled five continents by air and land. No shortage of rose smelling... despite the smart phone.

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  #324  
Old 01-05-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enigma0 View Post
The newer electronic devices allow people to enter, or even create, mind-spaces that may be customized to their very own fantasies.

If someone has problems or worries (and who doesn't?), those multimedia devices allow a user to forget, at least so long as their mind is in that space. It allows them to ignore unpleasing reality, which can be harsh indeed. Not precisely a new thing; recall D&D?
Oh, I thought it was for weather info, buying gear, getting advice and porn.
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  #325  
Old 01-05-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

Quote:
Originally Posted by shanedennis View Post
I'll turn my smart phone off when you turn off your computer. Smart phones and iPads have only been around a few years. The decline in recreational sailing started in the late 80s before even before PCs were mainstream.

I'm just sticking up for my generation. I think they are not buying cruising sailboats because they are doing it tougher than the boomers. All the economic and social data backs me up on this. My kid's generation has it even tougher.

Speaking for myself, I was a poor boy and got my first full time job at 15. I worked hard. I saved hard. I own a bluewater cruiser and I use it. Before I bought the bluewater cruiser I travelled five continents by air and land. No shortage of rose smelling... despite the smart phone.

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We're of the same generation and it sounds like we have similar experience. Cruising is as hard or easy or as cheap or as expensive as you want to make it. The only difference between those doing it and those who aren't is that those who are doing it wanted to do it bad enough to find a way.
No excuses, no rationalizations, just make like Nike and "just do it." It's when someone buys their own excuses that it is time to admit that they really don't want to, at this moment in time. When they start finding a way, planning, saving and searching, then that's different.
You hit the nail on the head- you saved hard.
One can buy a perfectly acceptable grin generating camp-cruiser for under $3K, and one can go cruising 3-5 weeks a year for years for under $2K/yr.
So, if one decides to make coffee at home instead of hitting Starbucks twice a day, takes a lunch to work instead of buying lunch, figure one saves $15/ day.
In a year of saving with no real sacrifice, You've bought your boat and paid for your first vacation. After that, you're rolling.
By thinking small, keeping our small cruiser and redefining what we thought we "needed" in a boat, and what were really luxuries, we were able to keep living aboard during the season, cruising and enjoying decent rum and wine even in the face of a combined loss of $60K in annual income and multiple job changes thanks to the economic meltdown.
Yep- my wife and I make $60K less annually than we did in 2008. Our income was cut almost in half. We're climbing back out, but it is and was "Whiskeyjack" which allows us to escape the grind, and offered a last ditch refuge- if we finally couldn't make the mortgage, if we finally had more month than money permanently, we still had a place to live.
And we're still sailing.
That is why I have little patience for excuses and rationalizations and "woe is me, you don't know how hard it is..." posts.
Yeah, I do.
and I'm still sailing.
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Last edited by bljones; 01-05-2013 at 07:39 PM.
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  #326  
Old 01-05-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

I never said it was impossible... after all I have done it myself... and I am not making excuses for anybody. My point is it is now harder now than it was thirty years ago so their are fewer people willing to make the sacrifices necessary to do go cruising.

Time for me to move on to another thread! Have fun with this discussion.
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  #327  
Old 01-06-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

Aside from the cost our culture has lead people to believe that to succeed in life (the way we are taught success is) unless they lead a static life, staying where they are, doing what they are told.
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  #328  
Old 01-06-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

I'll give you two really good reasons that young people aren't cruising as much. You can sail for days then pull into the a small town only to find out the main street is covered with chains just like your town. Even when it's not chains it's still not the same as it was thirty years ago. I remember going down to my grand parents on the gulf and we would eat lot's of seafood. It was a treat because growing up in Arkansas we didn't get much seafood. No ocean and all. Now I live just outside of Dallas and there are seafood joints galore.

So traveling just a state or two away feels about the same as going out for the day then coming back and hitting your favorite restaurant. You can get BBQ in New England or Tacos in Wisconsin. Unless you've got months to sail, it's like you haven't even left your own harbor. Much easier to hop on a plane and fly down to Costa Rica for a real change of scenery, and a cheap vacation, then sail from Virginia up to Rhode Island only to eat at Joe's Crab Shack.

The second reason is that keeping a boat anywhere near the coast is crazy expensive. No 20 year old that doesn't work 80 hours a week can keep a boat with in a days trip to the inter-coastal or open water. It's not the seventies when the boat took some cash but you could find a good anchorage or tie it up for a few bucks. The keys are a prime example. I talked to guys that used to sail down in the 80's and you could get a slip on short notice for $20 a night. Now assuming you can find a slip it hundreds a night. Similar issue with house boat row. At one point there were dozens of house boats tied up along the canal between stock island and Key West. There are none left. EPA killed that party.

Same goes for new docks. It just about takes an act from the president to get permission to build any new docks. When I was in Hawaii, the boat I worked on moored out just short of a mile. There was an old dock that used to reach out to slighting deeper water that had been used to off load the crew and passengers. About three years before I got there, the company had purchased all the materials to rebuild the dock and tore off all the decking and some of the cross framing. Basically they figured that since they weren't replacing the pilings they didn't have to get any approval. They were wrong. The new decking material had sat for three years, growing weeds up through the piles. We just drove the boat in as far as we could and all the crew and passengers(Juvenile delinquents mostly) would wade in.

So between paying an arm and a leg to keep a boat anywhere near a good cruising spot, and traveling for days just to eat at the same restaurants and shop at the same brand name store, it's just not that attractive. I would rather sail on the weekends then fly some where truly different for vacation.
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  #329  
Old 01-06-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

as far as keeping a boat....keeping a boat in addition to an house and all the other trappings of modern day life is expensive....but to live on a boat is one of the most cost effective ways to live. It only starts getting expensive when you pay other people to do stuff for you. Even up here, living in a marina, it costs less than it would cost to rent a room (not including utilities). Example slip for a 30' boat + live aboard fee + leash hold tax + environmental fee + power hook up fee = $290/mo, metered power in middle of winter with electric heat $50-60.....you can't find a room and/or house to share here for $350/mo plus utilites.
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  #330  
Old 01-06-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

Quote:
Originally Posted by shanedennis View Post
My point is it is now harder now than it was thirty years ago so their are fewer people willing to make the sacrifices necessary to do go cruising.
discussion.
I agree with that. Plus, I'm not so sure cruising, as a lifestyle, is as popular with young people today as it was 30 years ago.

It was about 20 years ago my wife and I took off down the east coast for a year. That's the closest we ever came to what I think of as cruising. At that time, we were the youngest(early and middle 30's). Young people were NOT cruising then on the east coast. I think Hannah, a world cruiser posted that fact as well. However, he points out cruising is stronger and may be on the rise in other countries(nice to know).

Today, cruising means anything from globe girdling to weekend coastal sailing, to even simply living aboard, depending on who you're talking to. If the current and pretty well entrenched daysailer boat design era is any indicator, cruising may be on a flat line for a while for all age groups. What I consider "cruising" means a lifestyle commitment of at least a sabatical from work, home, shore side life. People are doing that these days, but they're doing it by traveling, going to school abroad, Woofing, etc. Same as cruising to me.

Living aboard is on the rise I think, and that's not a hard trend to understand. Boats are cheap, houses and apartments have been on a steep steady rise for decades(excepting the current blip that's fading). I think you'll see more of the younger generation looking into the liveaboard life style.

Sailing is connected to both cruising and living aboard(sometimes only faintly), but as a recreational pastime, sailing is as alive and well as it's ever been in my lifetime. All the old avenues that get people into it(like my family conduit), are still strong. I'd say locally, sailing clubs introducing youngsters to sailing, are stronger than they were when I was young.

And finally, sailing is part of a new and growing marine industry here in Maine which is boat building(all types and materials) and other maratime vocations. I see more and more kids going to "school" in the marine area. Many start as schooner bums working the many seasonal boats in our area(also a growing industry).
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